For nineteen-year-old Nina Kwak the COVID-19 Lockdown was an opportunity to be useful. Her part-time study continued throughout Lockdown but she was unable to work in her usual tourism job. She had a little free time to devote to supporting a circle of senior community members with groceries and a little company—socially distanced of course.
Nina’s grandparents lived some distance away and were being well cared for by people in their community. “I was so happy that my Nana and Opa had that support, and I wanted to support anyone that needed it.”
This led to a regular routine of shopping for and delivering groceries to a number of people self-isolating during Lockdown. Nina didn’t really see this as volunteering in a formal sense but as just being able to help people and contribute. Volunteering is something Nina had experienced growing up as a family and something she expects to be a lifelong enjoyment.
“It made me happy to see people feeling good and I felt good to know that I had helped someone stay safe.” She describes the friends and family she supported as being appreciative and happy and although her intention was to help others the spin-off was that it gave her a sense of purpose and wellbeing during the Lockdown period.
Although originally intended as practical support she could see that a conversation and some company at a difficult time was important and by delivering essentials she also helped people to stay connected making the Lockdown better for everyone in her delivery route.